Sticking to reform

Updated: 2012-12-12 08:31

(China Daily)

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The message can't be clearer that the new leadership of the Communist Party of China will not only continue reform and opening-up, but also further it in a pragmatic manner. Xi Jinping's first official visit as the Party's new general secretary was a strong manifestation of this.

During his visit to Shenzhen in South China's Guangdong province at the weekend, Xi visited the statue of Deng Xiaoping and paid tribute to the architect of China's reform and opening-up. Deng's famous trip to southern cities including Shenzhen in early 1992, widely known as the Southern Inspection Tour, revived and expedited then stagnant reform and opening-up, which resulted in the rapid economic growth in the three decades that followed.

Sticking to reform
Xi Jinping, general secretary of the Communist Party of China Central Committee, chats with people in Lianhuashan Park in Shenzhen during his inspection tour of Guangdong province from Friday to Tuesday.[Lan Hongguang / Xinhua]

Shenzhen, which was the country's first special economic zone, and Guangdong province have long been considered the vanguard and synonym of reform and opening-up.

Xi's admonition that "empty talk harms the country, hard work prospers the nation" reminds us of what Deng said during his southern tour: "It will be a dead end for us if we fail to stick to the socialist road, if we fail to carry out reform and opening-up, if we fail to develop the economy and fail to improve people's lives."

If the major challenge Deng faced at the time was to revive stalled reforms, what the new leadership of the CPC has to do is not just to follow the path their predecessors have opened up.

It also needs to address the problems that have arisen along with the reform and opening-up, such as serious corruption and the ever-widening wealth gap. At the same time, transforming the mode of economic growth remains a hard nut to crack.

Xi's trip to Shenzhen and his epigram that "empty talk harms the country, hard work prospers the nation" explicitly show that this new leadership knows well that all these problems will never be solved unless reform and opening-up are carried out to a deeper extent.

The pragmatism Xi and the rest of the leadership have preached for further reform has already found expression in eight measures about a simple and plain working style adopted by the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee and in the leaders' call for their meeting attendees to speak their minds rather than reading written speeches.

This is because a practical, down-to-earth working approach for leaders at all levels is the prerequisite for the country's sustainable economic growth and social progress.

(China Daily 12/12/2012 page8)